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Demo Tapes (Chef Rob Marzinsky Special Dinner upstairs at Barbuzzo)

I was beyond hyped for this event, it was a late seating at 8:45 pm, but I did not care, the menu looked like a rainbow of flavors; salty, savory, sweet, fresh, rich it was all there. Unfortunately, the menu did not come together as I hoped and some of the dishes were just not executed precisely enough to be able to taste as well as they should have. With an event like this the Chef is usually swinging for the fences so it is usually a home run or a strike out.

Before the event I decided to meet up with some friends at Smiths, this is a great place for lunch, after work, or watching a game, or even a late night dance party (if you are into that sort of thing), whenever your are in Philadelphia. I ordered the Goose Island Honkers Ale, this has A refreshing crisp taste, and we also downed some shots of Crown Royal apple. When it was time for me to head to dinner I ordered an uberx and headed over.

The upstairs decor at Barbuzzo and the music picked for the event really made you want to be there, I knew it was going to be an entertaining night as soon as I entered. I was seated immediately and ordered the cocktail pairing that came with the dinner, but for the Intro courses I ordered a glass of Pinot Noir to sip on.

The Intro consisted of 4 small bites of different dishes. The Celery Root, Fried Oyster and “Lobster Roll” were all pretty bland, with the “Lobster Roll” basically tasting like coleslaw on a roll. The Parsnip dish had a fresh taste and was the best intro offered, it would have been nice to have a little more of the parsnip though to get the full experience.

Track 1 was the Pierogi which was a cool untraditional play on the classic French Onion Soup. This dish really came together well, the right ingredients were all there, the sweet carmelized onions with the doughy pierogie and the saltiness off the soy broth was a great mix, I just wish there would have been a little more of the melter skelter cheese because you could hardly taste it and it would have really added a nice finish to the dish.

Track 2 consisted of the Albacore Tuna and the Dayboat Scallops. The Scallops were good, but the dish would have tasted better without all of the extra ingredients. The sea urchin, celery root and jalapeño are such strong flavors and fought against each other in this dish. On the other hand, the Albacore Tuna was the best dish of the night, the salty creamy tonnato sauce went perfectly with the fresh taste of the tuna and the crunchiness from the broccoli and peanuts created a perfect texture combination with the tuna. This is a dish I would order anywhere at anytime. The drink pairing for this dish consisted of vermouth, courvoisier and Rosemary syrup, while it tasted ok, it had a very sweet flavor and overwhelmed the flavor of the dishes.

Track 3 is where I was expecting the crescendo of the night to be, suncokes on roe and fried chicken on biscuits these are a few of my favorite things, um I mean ingredients. Regrettably it just did not work for me. The Roasted Sunchokes, potatoes with trout roe was ok, but it basically tasted like mash potatoes with trout row in them. The Fried Buttermilk Chicken over liver mousse, pickled carrots, sesame with a buttermilk biscuit and jalapeño vingarette, has some potential but the fried chicken was not nearly crunchy nor salty enough for the rich flavor of the liver mousse and therefore made this dish the worst of the night for me. The drink pairing for these dishes was by far my favorite though, it consisted of A Scotch, Sherry, Cynar and Byrr mixture with a nice dry flavor that really complimented the dishes well.

Track 4 was the Golden Curry, this dish had shrimp, sweet potato, lemongrass cabbage and rice. While this dish was good, it did not work well on the menu because after the previous two dishes the last thing my stomach needed was a rich broth made of sweet potato, lemongrass and cream.  This dish also came with another very sweet drink that consisted of pisco, lemon, carrot, turmeric shrub, galliano, sparkling wine and peychaud again this was too sweet of drink for this dish in my opinion, but on the other hand I am not a fan of sweet drinks to begin with, so to each his own.

The Outro called a “Vietnamese coffee” did end the night on a high note. The dish was made of a bitter coffe custard with soy milk dulce de leche and rice pudding. This dessert was amazing, every ingredient worked together to make a delicious dish. The coffee custard was spectacular while the rice pudding had enough flavor to really add an extra accent to the coffee taste, so it didn’t just taste like coffee ice cream.

After the dinner, thanks to some of the free dancing I was showing off, the bartender sent me over a nice nip of champagne to finalize my night with. While the meal was not what I expected it would be, it was still a great night and a fun event. If you ever decide to attened a dinner like this make sure you have an open mind and understand that the chef is usually experimenting and every dish will not be perfect.

This event was a 3 Tizzle experience.

Eat, Drink and Be Merry!!!!

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